Jan 07, 2019 Written by: Geoff_Gasior

Go big and stay slim with the new ROG Zephyrus S GX701 ultra-slim gaming laptop

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gx701kvThe original ROG Zephyrus redefined ultra-slim gaming laptops with a compelling cocktail of innovative cooling, premium display, and powerful GPU. Working closely with NVIDIA, we deployed the first GeForce graphics with Max-Q Design in a sumptuously sleek system capable of delivering an exceptional gaming experience rivaling much larger desktops.

Making its debut at CES 2019, the all-new ROG Zephyrus S GX701 boldly brandishes bigger ambitions. Not satisfied to simply take hardcore gaming to the next level with the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX with Max-Q design graphics and 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the GX701 doubles down on the display. It expands the high-speed screen to 17 inches, frames it with super-narrow bezels, and guarantees color accuracy with Pantone validation. Our exclusive GPU switch toggles between G-Sync mode for smoother gaming and Optimus mode for longer battery life, while Type-C charging helps you stay powered on the road.

Even with all these upgrades and a larger screen, the Zephyrus S GX701 maintains an impressively slender profile and surprisingly compact footprint. It’s more immersive, powerful, and versatile than any Zephyrus before without sacrificing the portability that defines the family.

Fill big shoes with a small footprint

Slim 6.9-mm bezels deserve much of the credit for the manageable dimensions. They allow the massive 17.3” screen to squeeze into a body just 15.7” wide, so you can stow the system in most conventional laptop bags and backpacks. The GX701 is the most compact 17” gaming notebook around, and at only 18.7mm, it’s also the thinnest.

If they’re not built carefully and with the right materials, super-svelte laptops can feel flimsy and cheap, so our designers created a magnesium-aluminum chassis that makes the Zephyrus S GX701 remarkably sturdy for its size. Brushed and matte surfaces join diamond-cut edges and two-tone anodizing to wrap the body in premium finishes that look and feel fantastic.

Immerse yourself in a picture-perfect panel

The minimalist frame yields an 81% screen-to-body ratio that makes the screen feel even larger and more engrossing. Since the original Zephyrus, we’ve been working closely with panel provider AUO to push the limits of gaming laptop displays. Much of our collaboration has been in the pursuit of performance, which is why the GX701 runs at refresh rates up to an amazingly smooth 144Hz. The panel’s 3-ms gray-to-gray response time makes the picture especially sharp at speed, whether you’re lining up targets in a fast-paced shooter or quickly scrolling through web pages on your desktop.

High performance is balanced with beautiful visuals thanks to an IPS-level AHVA panel with vivid colors spread over wide viewing angles. Color accuracy is especially critical for creative work, so the displays are carefully tuned at the factory. ProArt™ TruColor Technology guarantees that each one meets stringent X-rite Pantone Color Validation requirements for accuracy.

Get GeForce RTX graphics under the hood

Pushing frame rates high enough to saturate the screen requires a powerful GPU, so the Zephyrus S GX701 can be configured with up to a GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design. The new Turing architecture underpinning NVIDIA’s latest laptop GPU lineup melds programmable shading with real-time ray tracing and artificial intelligence to enable greater realism. Traditional CUDA cores join forces with dedicated RT cores for ray tracing and Tensor cores or AI to improve the quality of lighting, shadows, and other effects. The processing power of this diverse array can also be harnessed to accelerate a range of other workloads, from content creation to 3D modeling to deep learning.

Equipping the most powerful GPU for ultra-slim gaming laptops allows the Zephyrus S to raise the bar for performance in gaming, VR, and more. It addition to working with current VR headsets via HDMI output, it’s ready for next-gen devices that support VirtualLink over Type-C USB.

Live a double life with G-Sync and Optimus

Performance varies constantly depending on the game and what’s happening in the scene. Most displays refresh at a consistent rate, which creates problems when new frames aren’t ready at the right time, but the Zephyrus S GX701 uses NVIDIA G-Sync technology to compensate. It synchronizes the refresh rate of the display with the frame rate of the GPU to eliminate visual tearing that distracts from immersion. Coordinating frame delivery also minimizes perceptible stuttering and input lag that can hinder your game.

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Although G-Sync delivers the best gaming experience, it requires the GPU to be active at all times, which increases power consumption and decreases battery life. That’s fine if you’re plugged in for a marathon gaming session at home but potentially problematic if you’re trying to be productive on the road. NVIDIA Optimus technology provides the solution by defaulting to the CPU’s power-efficient integrated graphics and only turning on the discrete GPU when it’s needed for gaming and other heavy lifting.

Intent on having the best of both worlds, our engineers developed an exclusive GPU switch that lets you go between G-Sync and Optimus modes. With a few clicks and a reboot, the GX701 transforms from a gaming powerhouse with buttery smooth graphics to a premium productivity and entertainment platform with longer battery life.

Run fast and stay cool

A potent processor allows the Zephyrus S GX701 tackle any task with confidence. The 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H boasts six cores and 12 threads with a peak Turbo clock of 4.1GHz. It has ample resources for demanding applications like video editing and 3D rendering, and heavy multitasking like mixing gaming with streaming, recording, and separate voice chat. Up to 24GB of fast DDR4-2666 system memory rides shotgun along with as much as 8GB of separate GDDR6 VRAM dedicated just to the GPU. There’s loads of wicked-fast storage supplied by an NVMe SSD with up to 1TB of capacity and four lanes of PCI Express 3.0 bandwidth.

Ultraslim chassis leave little room for airflow, which makes cooling the CPU and GPU incredibly difficult. To avoid compromising performance, we designed an innovative Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) that exposes a large intake when you lift the lid. The Zephyrus S raises its haunches in one smooth motion, opening a gap that increases airflow by up to 32% compared to traditional designs. It draws additional air through vents above the keyboard, and dual fans propel it all through four heatsinks and exhaust vents flanking the rear corners.

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The AeroAccelerator fans are incredibly thin, so we added more blades to maximize airflow. Each fan has 83 blades made of a special liquid crystal polymer that’s strong enough to hold its shape at high speed. They’re surrounded by carefully shaped aluminum shrouds that use curved edges and raised guides to direct more air toward the blades. Spinning the fans with 12V power enables higher RPMs than conventional 5V designs, allowing the Zephyrus S to move even more air through the system.

Dust and other particles inevitably get sucked into laptop fans, but our self-cleaning cooling system helps to avoid accumulation inside. Each fan has a special anti-dust tunnel that catches particles and directs them out the back of the chassis, preventing buildup on the heatsink fins that could reduce performance and stability over time.

The ultra-thin fins are as slim as 0.1mm, so we can pack more of them into each heatsink to expand the surface area without increasing airflow resistance. With 250 fins split between four heatsinks, the cooling system offers 110,000mm2 of surface area for heat dissipation. Thermal energy is transferred to the heatsinks with a network of five heatpipes that cover the CPU, GPU, and VRM responsible for powering them. This design helps keep the power circuitry under 80°C to improve long-term reliability.

Fan speeds are controlled by an intelligent algorithm that responds automatically to temperature changes. Choose between three expertly tuned system profiles that let you quickly adapt to different scenarios using a convenient keyboard shortcut. With the highest fan speed and frequencies, Turbo mode is the best for maximum performance. Balanced mode optimizes performance and cooling to lower noise levels for gaming, while Silent mode goes further to reduce acoustics for lighter work and entertainment.

Personalize your per-key backlighting

Shifting the keyboard forward improves cooling by not only leaving more room for the fans, but also moving your hands away from warmer regions around the CPU and GPU. Surface temperatures on the keyboard are much lower than with traditional designs, especially after hours of heavy gaming. The forward orientation also lets your wrist rest comfortably on a table or desk, more closely emulating the position of desktop keyboards, and the touchpad on the right turns into a virtual numpad at the touch of a button if you need to input a lot of numerical data.

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Each physical key on the deck is illuminated by an independent RGB LED capable of producing a brilliant glow at peak brightness. You can easily customize the intensity and configure colors and effects to suit different scenarios, like identifying important keys for specific games and choosing a subtler look for serious work.

RGB lighting extends to the integrated volume roller, which sits within easy reach of your left hand. Familiar from desktop gaming keyboards like the ROG Strix Flare, the volume wheel makes quick adjustments easy to execute without interrupting your flow. The brightness of the backlighting even changes automatically based on the volume, so you know when it’s turned up to 11.

With Aura Sync, it’s easy to coordinate RGB colors and effects with compatible peripherals like the ROG Gladius II Origin mouse and Delta headset. Synchronized lighting can make your setup look a lot more cohesive and professional, and it only takes a few clicks in our intuitive Armoury Crate software.

Top up on the road with Type-C charging

ROG created the first gaming laptop capable of being powered by DC or USB-C input, and the Zephyrus S GX701 has the same technology. With support for USB Power Delivery, it can handle everyday work powered by a 65W Type-C adapter that’s much smaller than the 230W unit required for maximum gaming performance. Use a USB-C adapter to lighten your load on the road or around town, then plug in to full power when you return to home base.

If the battery runs low and you can’t stop to charge or even find a free wall socket, you can buy precious time with a portable USB power pack. The ASUS ZenPower Pro supplies enough juice to add over 100 minutes of video playback, which is also more than enough power to send those last few emails or put the finishing touches on an important project. USB power flows in in the opposite direction, as well, with fast-charging support capable of supplying up to 3A to compatible smartphones and other devices.

Connect to multiple displays and peripherals

The Type-C port compatible with USB Power Delivery is also capable of driving an external monitor via DisplayPort 1.4. Add the HDMI 2.0b output, and you can power a slick workstation with dual 4K displays running at 60Hz. There’s plenty of connectivity for external devices, too, with a secondary Type-C port focused on USB functionality, plus three Type-A ports for additional gear like a mouse, gamepad, and thumb drive.

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Intel’s latest 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi module with 2x2 MU-MIMO lets the GX701 deliver faster wireless throughput when paired with compatible routers like the ROG Rapture GT-AC5300. Staying connected is easy thanks to ROG RangeBoost, a patented wireless technology that constantly scans your surroundings and automatically shifts between two pairs of antennas to maintain the best signal. The antennas are positioned to cover each other’s dead spots, which helps to extend the laptop’s useful range.

Smart amplification expands the range of the built-in speakers so they can produce louder sound with less distortion. Most users will opt for their favorite headset via the 3.5-mm audio jack or one of the USB ports. The Zephyrus S can simulate surround sound for stereo devices like headphones, USB DACs, and VR headsets. It also has audio features designed specifically for streaming and recording, including automatic volume stabilization and noise and echo cancellation.

Audio effects are controlled with our Sonic Studio III software. Performance profiles and lighting customization are available through the new ROG Armoury Crate utility, which combines multiple system functions in a single app. Armoury Crate already includes game profiles that automatically load preferred system and lighting settings for different games and applications, and it’s poised to become an even more powerful tool moving forward.

Think outside the chassis for a better webcam

The slim bezels surrounding the screen leave little room for an integrated webcam that doesn’t look up your nose. We looked at how gamers actually use their webcams and decided to make an external module that offers a better experience overall. The optional ROG GC21 external camera captures crisp Full HD footage at a silky 60 FPS, doubling the speed of conventional webcams without sacrificing resolution.

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This 1080p60 config shows subtle detail and nuance that’s particularly noticeable in motion, adding greater realism to recordings. Face AE technology automatically detects and brightens your face to help it stand out from the surroundings, while the beamforming microphone array separates your voice from background noise.Instead of being stuck in one place, the GC21 goes anywhere you want for the best view. Sit it on top of the display for a conventional angle or use the aluminum base to mount it on a table or shelf. A clever folding design collapses the camera to the size of a thumb drive, so it easily slips into a pocket or bag along with the included USB cable.

  ROG Zephyrus S GX701
Processor Intel® Core™ i7-8750H
Operating system Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro (ASUS recommends Windows 10 Pro)
Display 17.3” FHD (1920x1080) IPS-level panel, 144Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB, Optimus, G-SYNC™, Pantone® Validated
Graphics NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2080 with Max-Q Design 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2070 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
Memory DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM up to 24GB (8GB onboard)
Storage M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 1TB SSD
M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x2 512GB / 1TB SSD
Wireless 802.11ac 2x2 WLAN
Bluetooth® 5.0 (Version may vary as the OS upgrades)
Connectivity 1 x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C™ with DisplayPort™ 1.4 and Power Delivery
1 x USB3.1 Gen1 Type-C™
1 x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-A
2 x USB3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
1 x Kensington lock
Keyboard Per-key Aura Sync RGB backlighting
1.4mm travel distance N-key rollover
Audio 2 x 2.5W speakers with Smart Amp technology
Array microphone
AC adapter 230W power adapter
Output: 19.5V DC, 11.8A, 230W
Input: 100~240V AC, 50/60Hz universal
Dimensions 399 (W) x 272 (D) x 187 (H) mm
Weight 2.7kg

Meet the new boss

Little details and big ideas set the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 apart from other ultraslim gaming laptops. The new flagship of the Zephyrus family raises expectations for what’s possible in such a portable form factor and once again sets the standard against which other contenders in the category will be judged.

ROG announced tons of new tech at CES. Check out this article to see all of our announcements in one place.

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